SALEM – Beginning Jan. 1, drivers will be required to move over to another lane or slow down by at least five miles an hour below the posted speed for any vehicle stopped next to the side of the road displaying hazard lights or other signs of distress. Under the current law, drivers have to move over (or if unable to move over safely, to slow down) only for an emergency vehicle, a roadside assistance vehicle, a tow vehicle or ambulance, when it is displaying warning lights.
The new law makes it clear that drivers have a choice to comply by either moving over or slowing down by at least five miles an hour below the posted speed; and now the law applies when approaching any vehicle at the side of the road displaying hazard lights or distress signs. The offense remains a Class B traffic violation.
ODOT introduced Senate Bill 34 as a means to increase safety for motorists stopped along Oregon’s highways by expanding the scope of the law to include all stopped motor vehicles displaying hazard lights or indicating distress. Between 2011 and 2015 in Oregon, there were 167 serious crashes and eight people died in incidents where a vehicle was parked on the side of the road and there was no emergency vehicle with lights on involved. During that same time frame, in incidents where an emergency vehicle with lights on was aiding a motorist, there were just six serious crashes and no fatalities.
The bill states a person is not in violation of the move over law if the stopped motor vehicle is in a designated parking area.